Education International
Internationale de l’?ducation
Internacional de la Educaci?n

Education International,
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Brussels, 12 August 2013

Urgent Action Appeal ? Greece

Act Now to Save Public Education in Greece


Dear colleagues,

Education International (EI) and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), EI?s European region, are calling on all their member organisations to take action now in support of Public Education in Greece.

The Greek Federation of Secondary State School Teachers (OLME), one of EI?s member organisations in Greece, has launched an online petition that has already generated over 4,000 signatures since 8 August.

We call on you to take action now. Click here to access and sign the petition on Avaaz?s Community Petitions website!

We also encourage you to give visibility to the petition by recommending it on your website and/or Facebook account.

Greek teachers need your support!


The unprecedented austerity measures imposed to Greece have tragic consequences for education and society as a whole. The Greek government is destroying the welfare state and democracy to comply with the demands of the troika – the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Under a proposed new law, the Greek government would condemn over 2,500 teachers (including OLME?s president, Themis Kotsifakis) to an eight-month suspension on just 75 per cent of their basic statutory salary prior to their automatic dismissal. In addition, 5,000 secondary education teachers will be transferred to primary education and 2,000 more to administration. The proposed layoffs would add to the 10,000 non-permanent contracts lost earlier in primary and secondary education.

Vocational lyceums and schools will be particularly affected by teacher dismissals through the so-called process of ?sudden death?. Under the new law, the authorities would destroy three sectors of Greek Vocational Education, namely the arts, cosmetics and healthcare tracks. This means that in September 20,000 students will be left without the vocational lyceums and schools of their choice. The Government would then concede a large part of the country?s Vocational Secondary Education to the private sector.

Further measures, including teacher suspensions and dismissals are expected for September.

Greek teachers? demands are:

– that no teacher be suspended or dismissed ;

– that no student be left without the public vocational education of his/her choice ;

– that the government stop its policy of suspensions, dismissals and cut offs.

EI Solidarity with Greek teachers

EI and ETUCE stand in solidarity and give their full support to the Greek teachers and their member organisations ? OLME, DOE (Greek Primary Teachers Federation) and POSDEP (Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations) ? in their struggle to preserve public schools and vocational education.

We recall that a good quality public education system should be considered as the Greek government?s most important tool to weather the economic crisis and secure a sustainable future. Therefore, we urge the Greek government to abandon its efforts to dismiss thousands of teachers from the vocational education sector.

Thank you for your support and solidarity with our Greek colleagues.

In Solidarity,

Fred van Leeuwen                                                                                                                               Martin R?mer

General Secretary,EI                                                                                                                         European Director, ETUCE

You may download the related file in pdf format … here